Do an Internet search for the term “Leadership” and you will immediately find thousands of websites with long lists of famous, and not so famous, quotes on the subject. Each day, these words of wisdom from Presidents, Foreign Heads of State, Football Coaches, Philosophers and Business Leaders are used throughout the world in hopes driving someone to become a leader. However, actions always speak louder than words, and for the millions of children in organizations with the goal of building leaders, it’s always what you do that matters.
February is National Youth Leadership Month in the U.S. and MyJobChart.com is doing its part in helping prepare leaders by providing the means for kids to demonstrate responsibility, accountability, generosity and teamwork. In just about three years, nearly 600,000 kids have completed more than 20 Million jobs and earned nearly $3 million. Along the way, MJC kids have run lemonade stands, took dogs for walks, mowed grass and served as babysitters – all jobs that demonstrate leadership and could result in a new business.
“When it comes to becoming a leader, practice makes perfect,” said MyJobChart.com CEO and Founder Gregg Murset. “I applaud the organizations whose intent is to help kids become leaders and good citizen. However, this is a task much larger than these organizations. Kids 17 and under spend the majority of life split between school and home, and so, this is where the main effort has to be. As NFL Hall of Fame Football Coach Vince Lombardi said a long time ago – “Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.”
To help parents and schools reinforce leadership behavior, Murset, CEO of MyJobChart.com offers the following suggestions:
1. Lead, Don’t Follow – As a parent, do a better job of encouraging our child to be in front of the crowd and not following it. We often tell our kids to blend in, make friends and feel comfortable. Children should be challenged to find opportunities to be first, take on additional responsibilities or get involved at school and in their communities.
2. Respectfully Challenge Authority – Let your child know that it’s OK to have an opinion and to support that opinion, even to teachers and other adults. The key, however, is to always present a respectful and educated argument. As adults, your child will face a world full of individuals ready to tell them how wrong they are, so let them learn now how to state their case.
3. Support Their Passion – At some point children become passionate about something – school, art, sports, scouting, theater, music, etc. Parents should support this passion but always guide the child to play a larger role, be a vocal leader of a group or lead by example.
4. Don’t Praise Failure – Somewhere along the way we became a society where everyone had to win, everyone gets a trophy and no one was allowed to celebrate on the playing field because it made the other team feel bad. At some point everyone has to fail. When it happens, help your child learn from it, develop character from it and understand that in real life, many successful people have failed before achieving greatness. Remember Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, Bill Gates first company was a huge flop and Steve Jobs was fired by the company he started (Apple).
5. Make Every Moment Count – There are always moments when any child will mumble “There’s nothing to do.” At that point, talk to your child about taking advantage of the temporary lull to work on a project associated with something they are involved in. Challenge them to work ahead in school, build a business plan, call others to work on a team project or practice a sport, or read about someone who has succeeded in life.
6. Always Stand Behind It – Accountability goes a long way in any phase of life. Teach your child that being accountable will gain them respect and demonstrate maturity. Show them the numerous examples when politicians, sports figures and young entertainers made mistakes and failed to be accountable. Then show examples of those who handled a bad situation totally different and how being accountable changed the public opinion.
MyJobChart.com, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a free, easy to use, online and mobile job chart and reward system designed to teach, organize and motivate kids to earn, save, share and spend responsibly. The company is the fastest growing online tool that brings together the latest technology and basic personal finance principles to help parents teach their children responsibility and accountability. Over the past two years, MyJobChart.com has accumulated nearly 600,000 members, who have completed more than 20 million jobs, earned roughly $3 million and donated to many charities including The United Way, Operation Smiles, MANNA Worldwide and Heifer International. MyJobChart.com can also be used through its Apple and Android mobile apps, allowing parents and kids the opportunity to save, share and spend from anywhere. For more information, visit www.myjobchart.com.